Oct 30, 2013

Shishimae - Dragon Dancing

The summer festivals may have ended, but that just means aki matsuri (fall festivals) have begun.

Tokuda, the neighborhood where I teach and the Nanao JETs practice taiko, kicked off their aki matsuri the day after we climbed Haku-san. I was sunburned and very sore, to the point I thought I couldn't get out of bed, but when festival calls, you answer.

I drove the boys down to Tokuda in the morning to play taiko. They strapped the drum to the back of a cart and the group played throughout the neighborhood for the entire day! Poor Mr. C was twice as sore the next day, but everyone agreed it had been worth it.

What distinguishes the fall festival from the rest of the year's festivities is the shishimae - dragon dancing! Every town's dance is a little different, yet share the same story of generations of heroes going to defeat the great dragon, and eventually restoring balance to the world. Enjoy the photos and videos below.


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P.S. Happy Halloween to everyone Stateside!


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